Chicken Enchiladas

I love Mexican food, especially enchiladas. Many chicken enchilada recipes require cream of chicken soup. I LOVE these creamy recipes, but not everyone does, so here is a chicken enchilada recipe that is slightly healthier than your typical cream of chicken and cheese enchilada.

Chicken Enchiladas at The Happy Housewife

Notice I said this is a slightly healthier recipe – it’s time to fry! If you’ve never fried a tortilla before it is very simple.

Chicken Enchiladas




Yield 6


  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped chicken
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese (at least 2 cups)
  • 16 oz can enchilada sauce
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup oil


  1. In a sauce pan melt butter. Cook onions over medium heat in melted butter for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and chicken. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. While the chicken filling is simmering, fry the tortillas. Take a frying pan or iron skillet (my preference) and fill it with about an inch of oil. Heat the oil until it pops when you flick a drop of water in the skillet. With tongs take the tortilla and drop it into the oil. Fry it for about 20 seconds, turn and fry for another 15 seconds. (Do not overcook or your tortilla will be a chip.)
  4. Remove the tortilla and let it drain on a paper towel.
  5. Once your tortillas are fried and the chicken filling has simmered for 15 minutes, it is time to fill and roll the enchiladas.
  6. Coat the bottom of a 9×13 pan with enchilada sauce, then begin filling and rolling your enchiladas.
  7. Add some shredded cheese and a bit of enchilada sauce to each tortilla before you roll it.
  8. Take your rolled enchilada and place it in the pan. Continue until the pan is full or you’ve run out of filling/ tortillas.
  9. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and generously sprinkle with shredded cheese. (Don’t skimp on the cheese!)
  10. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the foil for the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Courses Main Dish



  1. These look so yummy!!!!!

  2. Mine are similar except in place of the Rotel and enchilada sauce, I use a bottle of salsa verde (or make it myself, even better). It gives a totally different flavor, but we love it! Great for those who aren’t all that fond of tomatoes.

    I, too, find that the iron skillet is preferable when softening the tortillas. I suspect it’s because the iron can keep the heat at a steadier temp than a frying pan is capable of.

    (Grr…. I hate ending sentences with prepositions, but can’t think of a better way to write that. Forgive me!)

  3. These look good, but just thought I would throw my super easy homemade enchilada sauce recipe out there. Get a big sheet pan. Quarter tomatoes and onions (maybe 2-3 onions and 4-5 tomatoes, depending on size, for one batch of sauce — more tomatoes if you don’t like things at all spicy). Put it all on the pan with two (or more if you like garlic) peeled cloves of garlic. Drizzle with some olive oil and some salt and pepper. Put in the oven on 375 to roast (will take about 15 minutes unless you are doubling or tripling this like I normally do, then longer). While it is roasting, boil 2 cups chicken stock on the stove. Add some dried red peppers (ancho, etc. The big peppers, not those teeny tiny ones — I usually use a mix of peppers since ancho alone are too smoky, but I can’t think of the name of the other pepper I use, sorry!). Anyway, just take some scissors, cut off the top where the stem is and dump the seeds into the trash, then just cut the peppers into three or so pieces into the chicken stock. Let the peppers cook for about 10 minutes. When everything is done, put it all in a blender (if you are doubling or more, you need to do batches). Add a teaspoon or two of cumin and oregano. My husband also likes a tablespoon of honey (I don’t, but he is my honey so he gets what he wants!). You can add some cayenne powder if you need to spice it up a bit. blend and pour over your enchiladas. Soooooo much better than a can!!

  4. Sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try this recipe. But I will probably steam my tortillas.

  5. Sounds yummy! Just wondering if you’ve ever made this ahead and kept it in the fridge–will the tortillas get soggy and not cook well? Or does freezing work?


    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      I have not made this particular recipe in advance, but I’ve made numerous other tortilla recipes and frozen them or kept them in the freezer. They tasted great when reheated.

  6. I loved the chicken enchiladas. My kids on the other hand, are not fond of enchiladas. They did however love the “chicken fill”. So we will probably use the chicken fill as a topping for Chicken Nachos or possibly for chicken tacos. Thank you!

  7. I love enchiladas too, and prefer the red sauce, but when I make the verde kind I make up my own cream sauce, just can’t do that cream of chicken glop. I quit rolling my enchilada’s years ago. I just layer everything lasagna style, cut into nice thick squares for serving, top it with a dollop of sour cream and a big pile of chopped salad greens with some pico de gallo on the side. The filling recipe sounds great, and kid friendly so I’ll have to try it this week. thanks!

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